Somatoform and Physical Disorders

Robert L. Woolfolk and Lesley A. Allen

in The Oxford Handbook of Clinical Psychology

Published in print December 2010 | ISBN: 9780195366884
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

Somatoform and Physical Disorders


This chapter provides an overview of the treatment of somatoform and related disorders. A brief history of the disorder is provided, along with a sociocultural framework in which to conceptualize somatization. The epidemiology of somatoform disorders is discussed. Empirical research evaluating psychosocial treatments for somatoform disorders, including the functional somatic syndromes, is reviewed and critiqued. The rather substantial assortment of treatment options available to clinicians is compared and contrasted, and their level of empirical support evaluated. The limitations of the empirical literature, as well as the treatment implications that can be drawn, are discussed.

Keywords: Cognitive-behavioral therapy; functional somatic syndromes; medically unexplained physical symptoms; mind-body; psychosomatic; psychotherapy; somatization; somatoform

Article.  18624 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Clinical Psychology

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